Appearing in "The Prodigal Son!"
- General Merriwether Locklin
- New Mutants
- Professor Charles Xavier
- Guthrie family
- Wraith-Hunter Rangers
- Reverend Joad (First and only known appearance; dies)
Synopsis for "The Prodigal Son!"
Rom & Starshine, known as Brandy Clark, approach a daycare center that has been surrounded by the commander of the Wraith-Hunter Rangers General Merriwether Locklin. Inside, a group of newly hatched Dire Wraiths have been left with no Elders to guide them and contemplate what to do. One Wraith approaches the teacher and uses its razor-barbed tongue to pierce her skull, absorbing her knowledge and form before killing her.
Understanding far more, the Teacher-Wraith prepares her sisters to take the lives of the children when Rom & Starshine burst in and begin attacking the Wraiths. The Wraiths shapeshift into Deathwing guise and try to escape. All are taken but one that is pursued by Brandy and Rom. Exhausted, the Wraith lands on a rock in the middle of a river, where it is soon overtaken by the Spaceknights. It tells them to kill it as they have slain its elders, and it cares no more. As Rom hesitates in his mercy, the creature strikes, and Starshine begins to destroy it. Rom intercedes and banishes it before Brandy can kill the Wraith.
As the Spaceknights leave the scene, an energy form begins to coalesce where Rom’s Neutralizer had opened the portal to Limbo, allowing something to slip through. The energy floats down river, where it comes upon a church congregation baptizing new members. Seizing on the opportunity, the being transforms itself into the form of a human adolescent. The preacher proclaims it a miracle and decides to raise him as a son.
Several weeks later, on a winding Appalachian highway, Professor Charles Xavier and his class of New Mutants are caught in a roadblock caused by a wildfire. Using their powers, the group fights the fire and rescues a number of workers. As they prepare to leave, Rahne notices a church on the mountainside that was in the midst of the fire but remained totally unscathed.
Elsewhere, Rom & Starshine are present when an Esper of General Locklin’s is sent into mind-shock when she searches for Wraith activity yelling, “The Horror! The Horror!” which immediately reminds Rom of an enemy he had hoped long gone. Rom & Starshine go to investigate and find the Preacher hiding in the darkness also proclaiming “The Horror!”. Hybrid then reveals himself and Rom summons his Neutralizer. Before he can use it, Hybrid uses his mind to take control of Rom’s armor, paralyzing him and turning his own weapon against him before banishing him to Limbo. Starshine tries to fly to his rescue, but she is soon caught as well. As Rom watches helplessly from Limbo, Hybrid undoes the Wraith spell that Doctor Dredd used to merge Brandy with the Starshine armor and prepares her as his future bride.
Unfortunately, the New Mutants had been exploring the nearby mines when they too are caught by Hybrid, who intends to make the females breeding stock. In the battle, Ilyana escapes by teleporting to Limbo, where she finds Rom battling with Dire Wraiths. Ilyana helps him in battle and uses her abilities to transport them back to Earth. There, the battle is taken up again. Rom summons his Neutralizer to once again try to banish Hybrid, but he is struck down, dropping his weapon. In the distraction, Ilyana pierces Hybrid with her Soulsword, allowing Brandy to recover from her trance; in anger, she grabs Rom’s Neutralizer and fires on Hybrid. Professor Xavier uses his mental powers to shield her from the weapon’s failsafes and continues to fire until Hybrid is no more. Then she collapses into the arms of Rom.